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Available online at www.sciencedirect.


Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 237 (2017) 1439 – 1443

7th International Conference on Intercultural Education “Education, Health and ICT for a
Transcultural World”, EDUHEM 2016, 15-17 June 2016, Almeria, Spain

The BAPNE Method: a New Approach and Treatment for

Depressive Disorders
Giulio Salernoª *, Luca Cefaratti ͣ, Francisco Javier Romero-Naranjoᵇ
ª Research group BAPNE-Italy, Via IV Novembre 35, Codroipo (UD), 33033, Italy
ᵇ University of Alicante, Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig s/n – 03690, Alicante, Spain


Depression is characterized by a decrease of the tone of the mood that is associated, as a rule, with a slowing down (hard or slight)
of some cognitive functions (attention, perception, ideation) and with a decline of the psychomotricity. Recently some studies have
shown that music and movement generate healthy effects to depressed patients. The aim of this research is to demonstrate that the
method of body percussion BAPNE may be used as a possible means of rehabilitation for depression. This method, effective both
at an interpersonal and an intrapersonal level, fosters the cognitive, social-emotional, psychomotor stimulation, and the start up of
all the brain lobes. We expect the level of attention to be stimulated, as well as executive functions, ability to focus, self-confidence,
visual-spatial abilities, with a consequent improvement of patient’s quality of life, decreasing of the stress, and suicidal risk.
© 2017
© 2016TheTheAuthors.
Publishedby by Elsevier
Elsevier Ltd.Ltd.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of EDUHEM 2016.
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of EDUHEM 2016.
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1. Introduction

Depression is a common mental disorder. The WHO estimates that more than 350 million people of all ages suffer
from depression. The study conducted by the “European Study on the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD,
2006) states that in Italy the Major Depression affects 11,2% of the population. Depression is characterized by a
decrease of the tone of the mood that is associated, as a rule, with a slowing down (hard or slight) of some cognitive

* Corresponding author. Tel.:+39 347 7529342.

E-mail address:giuliosalerno86@gmail.com

1877-0428 © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of EDUHEM 2016.
1440 Giulio Salerno et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 237 (2017) 1439 – 1443

functions (attention, perception, ideation) and with a decline of the psychomotricity. The symptoms related to this
disorder affect several boundaries of mental activity as mood, psychomotricity, thought and instinct. In its lighter
forms, patients feel a continuous and pervasive feeling of bore, and they are not able to be involved in normal activities,
and perceive a separation and an unsuitableness when they carry out a task during their everyday work. Their lowered
concentration, the lack of initiative and the incapability to take decisions frustrate every try made to accomplish any
task. In the acute phases, mood disorder is clear and it appears as deep sadness, moral pain, anguish, dismay associated
with the loss of the usual elan vital; discouragement, nervousness and anxiety become pervasive and change into
agony and internal tension. Psychologic pain is often so deep that it overcomes any other kind of pain. Even if
depression could sometimes reveal itself with presence of agitation, psycho-motor slow down is to be considered the
pivot-symptom and an effective predictor of the response to a somatic therapies’ treatment. The slow down appears
both with a slow down of spontaneous movements and a stiffening of gesturing that can configure a painfully
unexpressive phace: language is not fluent anymore, variety of issues and contents becomes poor and answers are
short, sometimes monosyllabic. In softer forms, the slow down can be hardly recognizable and be expressed just by a
reduction of the motility and expressivity of the facial gesturing, by a slight weakening of the voice and a partial
postural hypo-mobility . The slackening of higher psychologic functions can be so marked to provoke memory
disorder to problems of attention and concentration that can generate problems of differential diagnosis with dementia.
The notion of time is modified: its continuous flowing slows down until it stops: depressed people have the perception
that the day is never-ending, and that it is impossible to reach the end of the day: “ everything is still, stuck, with no
possibility to be changed”.
There are 3 types of therapy for the Depression’s treatment, whose effectiveness has been proved: pharmacological
therapy, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy (Thase et al., 1997).
Among this different therapeutic approaches, Depression is one of the mental disorders for which are mostly used
alternative therapies, as for example, music therapy and dance movement therapy (Ernst, Rand & Stevinson, 1998).
The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) defines Music Therapy as “an established health profession in
which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of
individuals”, while the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) defines Dance Therapy as “the
psychotherapeutic use of movement as the process that stimulates emotional, cognitive, social and physical integration
of individuals” (ADTA, 2003).
Many researches have shown through the administration of evaluation test that the use of these therapies effects
benefits at psychologic, emotional, neurological levels, as well as in relationships.
A pilot study revealed that “the DMT decreased the participants’ measure of neuroticism and increased their levels
of extraversion, secure attachment style and satisfaction with life. Significant, positive changes were also measured
in the participants’ ability to identify their feelings” (Punkanen, Saarikallio & Luck, 2014, p. 496).
The Music therapy,” when added to standard care, has strong and significant effects on global state, general
symptoms, negative symptoms, depression, anxiety, functioning, and musical engagement” (Solanki, Zafar & Rastogi,
2012, p. 196).

2. Aim

The aim of this research is to use BAPNE Method as a new approach and a new treatment for the depressive

2.1. The Body percussion in BAPNE method

The Body Percussion used in BAPNE Method takes from music therapy the link between music and emotions
using chant, melody, and percussion, while it takes from dance therapy the link between movement and emotions, so
that he integrates dance, movement, and choreography. This means that it is the patient himself to produce music by
his own body, maintaining the pulse, moving in the space, and singing. Body percussion at a physical level stimulates
a deeper consciousness of the body; at a psychologic level it stimulates the cognitive functions of memory, attention,
concentration; at a social level it fosters relationship and it lowers the stress level of interaction.
Giulio Salerno et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 237 (2017) 1439 – 1443 1441

3. Method

This method is based upon the Howard Gardner’s “Multiple intelligences” theory, and it is supported by 5
disciplines: biomechanics, that is used to work on sagittal, horizontal and longitudinal planes; anatomy, used to
develop dissociation of lower and upper extremities; psychology, used to understand thoughts and emotions involved
in the learning process and in workgroup; neurosciences, used to switch on all the brain lobes, and finally
ethnomusicology, used to explore all the different body sounds belonging to different cultures.
The BAPNE Method’s aim is the individual’s cognitive, socio-emotional and psycho-motor stimulation.
This study is intended as a pilot study; below is described the research protocol.
Patients will be randomly divided into two homogeneous groups: 30 patients will be treated with the BAPNE
method and 30 patients belong to the group control. The activities will take place weekly (2 hours per week), for at
least three months.

Selection criteria
Patient selection will take place according to these criteria:
1. certified diagnosis of depressive disorders
2. age (≥18)
3. consent given to join the BAPNE procedure
Rejection criteria:
1. presence of other psychiatric disorders
2. age (<18)
3. consent not given
4. depressive disorders due to substance use or general medical condition

Test suggested
In agreement to doctors, it involves the administration of the following tests:
1. Batteria WS - Abilità visuo-spaziali nell’arco della vita adulta
2. d2-R Test di attenzione concentrata
3. BDI-II Beck Depression Inventory-II
4. Esame neuropsicologico breve 2
5. Wechsler Memory Scale

Team work
1. two trainers
2. doctors and psychologists
3. nurses and possible health care staff
4. volunteers

1. Therapeutic: quality of life, mood, psychomotor skills, self-esteem, pleasure in activities, circadian rhythm
2. Psychic: attention, memory, motivation, flow
3. Perceptual: the perception of time and space
4. Socio-affective: intrapersonal and interpersonal communication, expression and body language, creativity
5. Sensory: body-consciousness, senses, motor control and body weight
6. Physical: coordination, dissociation, biomechanics, laterality, endurance, strength, breathing, balance,

4. Discussion

What is peculiar to a depressed patient is sadness, constraint, feel of guilt, apathy, inhibition of emotions and
1442 Giulio Salerno et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 237 (2017) 1439 – 1443

narrow-mindedness. Through this method the person develop the ability to relate to others and to cooperate with them,
as well as a sense of belonging to a group. The learning method creates an enjoyable situation where participants don’t
feel judged: this forests the achieving of purposes, self-esteem and a greater consciousness of his own body. BAPNE
method’s exercises that we propose, use as a rule circle and double-circle settings since this generates confidence,
acceptance, safety and it lowers competitivity by a permanent visual-physical contact; at a cerebral level it favours the
production of oxytocin, that is an affiliative hormone of social relationships, that has got antidepressive and anxyolitic
Working together to reach a common goal favours complicity and empathy among participants, and it gives the
chance to feel bodily what it is being learned, and hence the main factors of depression are the strengthens of BAPNE

5. Conclusion

The results we expect to achieve, after at least an eight-weeks period of practise of the BAPNE Method are: an
improvement of communication and body language, and of interpersonal relationships; a rise of the tone of his mood
and psychomotricity; a renewed interest and pleasure in activities; a reduction of the level of stress and of suicidary
risk with a consequent improvement in patience’s quality of life.
We expect cognitive stimulation that is implicite in each exercise to forest a recovery of the performance and self-
esteem of the person, improving his level of attention, memory, executive functions and visual-spatial abilities.


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